Sunday, 1 November 2009

Bullies occur everywhere

In life, bullying is predominantly seen in mainstream school, most notably in Secondary School, but it can also occur in Infant or Junior schools, and even at sixth-form. It isn't even restricted to there. It can occur at work. Teachers can also be bullies, and so can adults. Bullies can be serial bullies. If the person they bully moves away, or goes to another school, or leaves the workplace, or moves to another shift, they will find a new target, because they have an antennae for who or what makes a victim. It is like they have an inner compulsion to behave in that way.

When I mention that adults can be bullies, there was such a man who lived at the bottom of my street. He is still alive. In July 1986, just before my 10th birthday, this person knocked on my door. My dad answered it to see what was the matter. This man complained to my dad that I had climbed up a tree half-an-hour before. My dad asked, "Has he? Is this tree in your garden?".

This bully/coward/saddo replied, "No, it is down the street, on the green". My dad then asked, "Why is it bothering you that he has climbed up a tree down the street? What's it got to do with you?". The bully snapped, "I don't know what's the matter with you, you never speak to me when I see you". My dad told him to bugger off back down the street or he would kick him down it! The guy who complained did exactly that!

A year later, this bully shouted at me for jumping on his flowers, when I had been at a school event. The woman next door, whose son this bully/coward/saddo also had picked on for several years, for no reason whatsoever, said that it wasn't me, but her son and his friend who did it. Normally I would condemn this sort of behaviour, but as it was done to him, it was justified.

This bully and coward also once emptied his dustbin, deliberately, which was three-quarters full of rubbish, in his garden. The guy who lived to the right of him, who died in December 1997, aged 72, saw him do it. He was a nice bloke, and he fell out with the bully/coward in the 1970's.

The bully/coward then blamed the two who lived next door to him, on the left, and said they had done it. They weren't angels by anyone's standards, but they did nothing to deserve the treatment he gave out to them. This bully then had a go at them over it. Another one of this bully/coward's party pieces was to put barbed wire on his fence, so no-one would touch it. He once had a go at me for calling for the eldest of the brothers and told me to stop calling for him, when I was walking up his path, as if he owned their house as well.

My last brush with this bully/coward came in August 1990. About a month before, he had got a no-ball games sign erected on the green. I was the instigator of this final clash, just as he went out of his way to get onto us in the past. I decided to wind him up, and asked the elder of the two brothers to start playing playing soccer, or football with a balloon. Predictably, the bully/coward marched down the path and roared at me "AYUP, CAN'T YOU READ? WHAT DOES THAT SAY?" in an angry voice. I replied, "Yes, I can read. It says "No Ball Games". It doesn't say anything about playing with balloons though, does it?". The bully/coward glared at me, but didn't reply, and instead retreated in the house! What was he going to do? Phone the police because I was playing football with a balloon?

He was a bully, because he went out of his way to get onto us when we were between the ages of seven and thirteen. He was a coward, because after the age of 14, he left us alone and never said another word to me or any of my contemporaries. I can also back up my assertion that he was sad, because if all he had to do in life was get onto children, then he should either have got a life, or topped himself.

In February 2008 this man said hello to me. It was the first time since August 1990 that we actually spoke to one another. I didn't insult him, but at the same time, I didn't speak. I just blanked him. Why should I speak to him? I don't like the bloke, and besides, even though it was a long time ago, he demonstrated that bullies are everywhere, and wherever they are, they must be stamped out, and not tolerated one iota.


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